The city of Madison says everything's fine.
A report finished last month by the Department of Civil Rights found no abuses in the city's hiring system. No one who got a salary higher than the one advertised. No one got hired without meeting at least the minimum qualifications for the job.
After reviewing more than 100 new hires and promotions from the past two years, the department found "the city's hiring practices for managers and supervisors to be open and fair."
The department did recommend some changes, including drafting a manual that outlines the various steps, to make the hiring process more transparent.
But the Madison Professional and Supervisory Association doesn't agree the system is without problems. The group released its own report last month that found several examples. Among them -- the hiring of mayoral aide Jeanne Hoffman as the city's new facilities manager, despite having no facilities management experience.
"Several of our members indicated that they did not apply for this position because they felt they did not meet the advertised qualifications of the position, although their experience was similar to those of the person hired," the report noted.
The group also faulted Mayor Dave Cieslewicz for appointing his aide, Enis Ragland, as interim head of Community Services, instead of posting the position. Appointing Ragland, the report noted, "bypasses the civil service system and eliminates the opportunity for others to apply."
Overall, the report said, the city's hiring policies are "fundamentally sound and valid" -- but inconsistently applied. "These two recent examples have a negative impact on confidence in the civil service system," the report concluded.
Ald. Brenda Konkel, who requested the review after Hoffman's hire last summer, agrees.
"The rules seem pretty much okay," she says. "It's the lack of following the rules and process that is a problem. Policies don't need to be changed, people's behavior does."